Court opinions

COA reverses judgment against State Farm, finds trial court erred in excluding evidence

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a judgment Tuesday against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. after finding that a trial court erred in excluding evidence that could have proven the insurance company did not play a role in an accident that led to the plaintiff suffering from severe migraine headaches.
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Woman’s criminal recklessness, battery convictions against husband affirmed

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a woman’s conviction of misdemeanor battery against her husband despite her claim that the trial court did not allow her to admit evidence relevant to her case.
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K-9 search turning up heroin in car sufficient for conviction

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man’s conviction of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which found the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.
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COA: Defrauded Logansport business can’t sue Michigan law firms here

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Logansport businessman who was defrauded of more than $20,000 cannot use Indiana courts to sue the Michigan law firm whose client was later convicted of wire fraud, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judge: Elkhart school's Christmas program didn't violate law

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that an Elkhart high school's Christmas program last year didn't violate constitutional prohibitions against the endorsement of religion by public entities.
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Appeals court affirms decision to strip parental rights

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday a trial court decision to involuntarily strip a couple of their parental rights despite the father’s claim that the Department of Child Services had not produced enough evidence to warrant such action.
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COA reverses decision to deny woman’s expungement request

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Jay Circuit Court decision to deny a woman’s petition for expungement of her records after she was convicted of forgery and dealing in methamphetamine.
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Supreme Court affirms sentence of man convicted of child solicitation against niece

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court’s sentence for a man convicted of felony child solicitation against his teenage niece after it granted the state’s petition for transfer on Wednesday.
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Property award to ex-girlfriend of longtime boyfriend affirmed

September 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly awarded certain property to a woman who filed a complaint against her longtime partner for unjust enrichment after the two broke up after a 17-year relationship, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA affirms health services provider in contempt for not producing records

September 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that Meridian Health Services was in contempt of court when it failed to provide a patient’s father with her health records after a subpoena ordered the health services provider to do so.
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COA affirms conversion judgment against mortgage lender

September 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A mortgage company lost its appeal of a ruling that it effectively stole the Muncie property from its borrower, who is entitled to $158,392.50 in damages, including $74,000 under the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act.
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7th Circuit upholds foster father’s child molestation conviction

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a foster father’s conviction of molesting his former foster daughter after the foster father claimed that his counsel at trial was ineffective in a manner that was prejudicial.
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COA: Discovery rule applies in inverse condemnation action against Duke Energy

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Monroe Circuit Court decision to dismiss a complaint against Duke Energy after finding that the trial court erred when it ruled that the statute of limitations for the complaint had expired.
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COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.
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Court of Appeals upholds denial of request to set aside 1997 divorce decree

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The denial of a woman’s request to set aside her divorce decree nearly 20 years after the end of her marriage because of fraud on the part of her ex-husband has been upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA affirms felony battery conviction; no evidentiary dispute of substantial pain

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a felony battery conviction on Friday despite the defendant’s claim that he should have only been charged with a misdemeanor.
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On rehearing, appeals court reins in DCS on CHINS custody change

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services lost on rehearing its argument that a custody modification ordered in a child in need of services case survives the CHINS proceeding.
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COA: third-party perpetrator evidence not relevant

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A man sentenced to 40 years for murder failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals he was unable to adequately defend himself at trial because he was prohibited from pointing an accusatory finger at the victim’s brother-in-law.
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Circumstantial evidence supports murder conviction

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite not having a direct link showing Donald Burns intended to kill his 74-year-old grandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the amount of circumstantial evidence was enough to support his murder conviction.
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Appeals court orders physical custody of child back to father

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother has lost primary physical custody of her daughter after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on Thursday to reverse and remand a decision that would have taken the daughter out of the custody of her father and instead place her in the primary custody of her mother.
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Bad-faith deal after bar assault clears insurer

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court rulings in favor of an insurer finding it had no duty to pay the victim of a punch in the jaw at a New Castle bar were affirmed Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a consent judgment between the tavern, the victim, and the man convicted of the crime was executed in bad faith.
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COA finds notice on out-of-state parties sufficient to affirm

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers for a man injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer sufficiently served the truck driver and the transport company, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in affirming a default judgment in favor of the injured driver.
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Tax Court stands by lower assessment basis for big-box store

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court rejected a county assessor’s appeal of the slashed assessed valuation of a department store, forcefully affirming that large retailers may base their assessments on the sale prices of similar vacant or “dark” retail store properties.
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COA reverses resisting law enforcement convictions based on video evidence

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned convictions of mistreatment of a law enforcement animal and resisting law enforcement after finding that law enforcement officers’ testimony in the case was in direct contrast to video evidence.
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Justices rule expungements can’t erase civil forfeitures

September 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday that Indiana’s second-chance laws that allow expungement of certain criminal convictions do not permit erasure of records of civil forfeitures connected to expunged charges.
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